E-Ink Kindles Books Into a Paperless Future

Disclaimer:
I do not own either of these products, and thus my review is based on other reviews, along with the product information found at the company websites, and through other sources.

Update 11/28/07: So I’ve been thinking about this new kindle, and I have to say that I like the concept and am still excited about the technology. However the economic aspects of the device as well as the design are much to be desired as many have stated in their reviews.

Update: Cali Lewis gives her first hand review of the Kindle on her GeekBrief podcast #262.

Update: Tech crunch has two interesting first hand posts about the Kindle, and a short Jeff Bezos interview.

E-Ink is the future!
People have been talking about the paperless office for years, and now the book industry is taking interest. New paper book size devices using an electronic ink technology are entering your personal time and space. Sony and Amazon have finally hit on products that should stimulate the growth in this market shift. The technology and experience of electronic ink systems will be akin to science fiction newspapers, or those similarly found within the Harry Potter universe. We will soon have cereal boxes, newspapers, and then clothing that have embedded e-Ink allowing the reader or publisher to update the content in real-time. Especially with this new partnership between Amazon and Sprint, things are looking to advance into the area of what used to be found only in fiction.

The Shift
The entire printed media industry will be moving to this new electronic format and form-factor. Newspapers, Books, Magazines, and even the written word that already exists online and in electronic form like blogs will invade your space on that plush reclining chair that you curl up in next to a fire in to enjoy the relaxing and intimate relationship with that special book.

The Hardware
Sony has delivered a 2nd generation product with their e-reader. It is light, small, and sleek. It uses the newest e-ink technology to deliver a high contrast display that looks like a real paper page while also allowing a long usage period between charges. Amazon is using a similar technology (seems to use the same e-Ink technology) with their new Kindle service and e-Reader. The reader has a keyboard and looks like an oversized PDA designed by IBM, it is white, plain, and a little too square. However,

Amazon

  • Storage: 200 books
  • Weight: 10.3 ounces (lighter than typical paperback)
  • Battery: 1.5 days / 7 days (wireless on / off)
  • Charge Time: 2 hours
  • Display: 600 x 800 pixel resolution at 167 ppi, 4-level gray scale
  • Other: Keyboard

Sony

  • Storage: 64MB internal (memory card slot for “unlimited” # of books)
  • Weight: 10 ounces
  • Battery: Read 7500 pages on single charge (~15 500pg books)
  • Charge Time: 4 / 6 hours (AC / USB)
  • Display: 6″ diagonal E-ink(tm) with 4-level grayscale
  • Other: plays mp3 (not sure why – i guess for audio book – just get an iPod/Zune)

The Services
Sony does offer a service to purchase books from, but it isn’t as grand a scheme as Amazon has devised and just recently released details of their new Kindle e-reader and service. Amazon will utilize Sprint’s national EVDO network in order to bring books and other content to the device from almost anywhere in the US.

Amazon

  • 88,000 books, Top Newspapers, 250 blogs
  • No Computer Necessary (all downloads are free and wireless)

Sony

  • Thousands of books
  • Windows XP or Vista

What does the future look like?
As I mentioned before this has more profound consequences than what lies on the surface in relation to how we interact and communicate. Sure you can get books anytime and anywhere you want, however think about other uses and you’ll quickly realize that the always connected everywhere we go future is actually something possible in the near future. Obviously it won’t be perfect, but this is sort of like 1995 with the internet coming into existence. We didn’t know then that we’d be watching video on a little pocket touchscreen phone. We have no idea yet, or just a small idea, of what is to come. People are probably think of the new advertising models, and the ability to get other types of content. However, that’s really already been done as the iPhone is probably currently the best overall e-book of its time. Battery drain is the main problem that the e-Ink technology attempts to fix.

Imagine being able to highlight in the books, have multiple bookmarks, sync this information online, download personal documents to the device, utilize an integrated search both within a book as well as across many different books. Just like we carry around our personal contacts, our music, and our photos (camera phone), we will soon carry around all our paper content including homework, textbooks, novels, magazines, newspapers, references, dictionary, translation books, study guides, DIY guides, etc.

There are so many things that can be done with technology when it is used in new ways along with inventions, and innovations. The e-Book was an innovation in the way we read printed materials, Kindle is an innovation in how we get that printed material. I’m only more excited about the future now, and hope I don’t become disinterested as I get older in the exciting innovations that the world brings to us each and every day.

Never Be Caught Without Toilet Paper

I had an epiphany today to share how I go about making sure there is always toilet paper in the bathroom, and the science behind it! First off let me tell you that this is what many consider a “Life Hack” which also means that it’s just common sense, but many people still don’t abide by the rules of common sense. All you have to do is make sure you use the rule of 3: keep 3 sets of 3 different amounts and follow these guidelines:

  • Keep 2 rolls near the toilet, 1 in the dispenser and 1 right next to the toilet somewhere not directly on the floor (you don’t want it to get wet – keep in a plastic bag if necessary).
  • Keep a small set of rolls (e.g: a 6-roll bag) under the sink, or somewhere in the bathroom out of sight if possible.
  • Keep a larger set of rolls (e.g: 6×6-roll bags) in a storage closet or under the stairs.
  • Any time any of the stores runs out you replace it from the next large store.

Geek Explanation:
This is similar to how DNS works, your local system has a hosts file or local dns cache. This file allows your computer to know the IP address of a domain name that you have recently looked up. If it can’t find the data in this local cache, your computer asks your ISP for the information. If the ISP doesn’t have the info you need then your computer will ask the internet (ie: the root domain servers) and get the information if it exists. Your computer then copies this information into it’s local store for later use. Of course each level of cache can “time out”, like running out of TP rolls, in which case it must go to the next large store of domain name entries.

Layman Explanation:
Similar to having a spare tire in your car. If you get a flat somewhere you definitely don’t want to resort to calling a tow truck (or yelling to your roomate to get you another roll of TP). This is why the spare tire was invented, or rather why it exists in the first place. After you use the spare you immediately go and get a replacement tire. Then your spare becomes the backup again.

It just makes sense doesn’t it? Always replace your backup, not the original!

I also realized that this works with so many products, you should start using this philosophy everywhere! I use it mostly for products I can buy in bulk. I go to Sam’s Club once in a while and purchase paper items, and other handy things to well have on hand (pardon the semi-pun). Or shampoo and soap, when you run out you should have a new bottle ready to replace the one that ran out. Then go to the store immediately, or within the week to replace the backup or spare bottle.

~Have a great day!

The OS Not Support

After Jen and I purused the internet after a lengthy programming session in order to relieve our minds she showed me a site I’ll never get enough of WorseThanFailure! It is easer to just show you, but it is basically funny program or appliction bugs.

And now for your pleasure:

http://worsethanfailure.com/Articles/Incredibly-Accessible.aspx
(what my OS NOT SUPPORT? Jen’s Favorite)

Continue reading The OS Not Support